Friday March 4th, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The NFL's owners and players today agreed to a seven-day extension of collective bargaining negotiations, giving them until midnight March 11 before the current agreement expires.

The extension is solely for collective bargaining negotiations, meaning no player transactions can take place during the seven days. If the sides are unable to come to terms by the deadline -- which was extended for the second time in as many days -- the players association is expected to decertify and have its players sue the league if the owners lock out the players, as expected.

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The sides agreed to extend the deadline by a day on Thursday, at which time the union said it would agree to a longer extension but only if there were no stipulations that would void any of the players' rights.

The league agreed early this afternoon. The sides are expected to take the weekend off, then resume negotiations Monday before federal mediator George Cohen. It will be the 12th bargaining session before Cohen.

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